Local music: EYE

  • Photo by Tessa Berg
By Columbus Alive
From the June 14, 2012 edition

Pretty Weapons, Teeth of the Hydra, Deadsea. If you made a list of the greatest metal bands in Columbus over the past decade, those three would have to be near the top. So you would assume a band featuring key members of all three would be reason to rejoice.

You would be absolutely correct.

“By the time we played, it was like, all right, this is exactly what it needs to be,” said drummer Brandon Smith, who used to partner with singer-guitarist Matt Auxier as two-thirds of spaced-out hard rock titans Pretty Weapons.

After that band dissolved in 2007, Smith and Auxier kept jamming. For about a year, they batted around the idea of teaming with bassist Matt Bailey, whose ruthlessly heavy Teeth of the Hydra had also recently folded. By late 2009, they finally assembled, quickly inspiring hosannas from headbangers and chin strokers alike.

On stage, EYE unfurled mammoth riffs and fuzzed-out rhythm dirges, free-flowing jams that reached from the depths to the heavens. Behind the scenes, they reined it all into a coherent document, enlisting Deadsea’s Adam Smith, a.k.a. Smitty, to provide atmospherics via organ, Mellotron and synthesizer. When he joined the band officially late last year, the fervor for EYE’s Floyd-meets-Sabbath behemoth only intensified.

Columbus audiences aren’t the only ones connecting with EYE. In April, elite underground label Kemado Records released the band’s debut “Center of the Sun” on vinyl after discovering it on Bandcamp.

This Saturday, they’ll celebrate on a Columbus stage by rocking Ace of Cups with one of Smitty’s other bands, jazz experimentalists Descendre. Though “Center of the Sun” is the occasion, expect a preview of new music too.

“We have tons of stuff,” Smith said. “Nothing we’ve really played out live — a lot of stuff in the works, but we’re pretty much working on a double album worth of material right now.”